Reggie Jackson rebounded a Wizard miss, hurried the ball upcourt and tossed it to Jeremy Lamb. The shot clock had barely cleared 20.
And Lamb launched.
The Thunder had crawled back into a game it had no business being in, but Washington remained in control. Up six, 1:40 left.
And right then and there, something great happened for the Thunder. Jackson believed in Lamb. And Lamb believed in Lamb.
Make or miss, win or lose, on this innocuous Sunday night in the NBA season's second week, belief in Lamb is a very good sign for the Thunder's long-term success.
By the way, Lamb swished the 26-footer. Soon enough, the Thunder got the game to overtime, thanks to Kevin Durant's deadeye 3-pointer with 13.6 seconds left, and won it 106-105.
Durant's been known to have a heroic moment or two (hundred). But Lamb and Jackson, who made two tiebreaking baskets in overtime, are going to be needed, too.
So put that Lamb long ball in your memory bank as this Thunder season progresses.
“Reggie hit me and I was wide open,” Lamb said. “It was early in the shot clock but late in the game. We had to get some points on the board, so I just tried to knock it down.”
While rookie Steven Adams rightly has been the early season sensation in ThunderLand, Lamb has been just as pleasant a surprise. He's now averaging 9.8 points a game, shooting 46.7 percent from the field and 40 percent from 3-point range.
The Thunder will take those numbers and be thrilled.
And if Lamb keeps playing without fear, even better.
“It was a lot of fun,” Lamb said. “Had a great crowd as always. Close game. First time I've played in a (pro) game like that.”
With Russell Westbrook losing his cool and getting ejected with 3:19 left in regulation, Scotty Brooks had no choice but to play Jackson at point guard. But he had options (paging Derek Fisher) elsewhere and stuck with Lamb. From that point on, the Thunder went on a 14-4 run to force overtime.
On the Thunder's final possession of OT, and OKC nursing a one-point lead, Brooks — with the endorsement of Durant — put the ball in Jackson's hands. Jackson drove the lane and dished to Lamb in the corner. Lamb's 3-pointer bounced off, giving the Wizards four seconds with which to win the game. But the confidence shown in those games will pay off in droves.
“A little fun, a little hectic,” Jackson said. “I was just trying to find a way to get a win. I guess growing up, kind of the moments you live for. You kind of dream for.”
We saw in the playoffs last season that Jackson is a no-fear ballplayer. But we saw Sunday night that Lamb just might be, too.
“That's who we need him to be,” Jackson said. “We have that confidence in him, so he has to have that confidence in himself. Whether good nights, bad nights, he has to kind of keep putting it up.”
Messing around with the Wizards is a sign that the Thunder remains a work in progress. But the play of Lamb and Jackson is a sign that progress is indeed the operative word.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.